The Interview process 1st interview 2nd interview Sometimes even a 3rd or 4th interview! Alternative Formats: Group interview – multiple interviewees or interviewers Phone interview Lunch/dinner interview Behavioral interview
Top Four questions in employer’s minds Why are you here? Why us and not XYZ company down the street? What can you do for us? Are you a problem solver? What are your skills? What kind of person are you? How are your interpersonal skills? Are you a team player? What distinguishes you from the 19 other people who can do this job? Do you work harder? Are you willing to go above and beyond? Are you self-directed? Information from: What Color is Your Parachute?
Top “soft” skills sought by employers Communication (written and oral) Strong work ethic Team work Initiative Analytical skills Computer skills Flexibility/adaptability Interpersonal skills Problem solving skills Technical skills Detail-oriented Organizational skills Self-confidence Leadership skills
Preparing for the interview Research the organization, the position, and the person who has the power to hire you Attire – shower, dress professionally, avoid dousing yourself with fragrances. Cover tattoos and piercings. Men: shower, shave, conservative attire (wear a suit, if possible) Women: shower, modest dress, jewelry, and makeup (natural looking) Keep the culture and industry of the organization in mind
During the interview Arrive 5-10 minutes early Firm handshake Keep your answers concise, don’t ramble. 2 minute time limit Maintain steady eye contact Watch out for nonverbal behaviors Project confidence, BUT don’t be arrogant. Be polite to everyone in the office Relax!
During the Interview Focus on transferrable skills Always have questions prepared! Example: What skills would an ideal employee have? If you’re asked to talk about a mistake, talk about what you’ve learned since then NEVER badmouth anyone you’ve worked with, especially prior bosses
Transferable skills A skill developed in one aspect of your life that can be (deliberately or unintentionally) applied to another activity How do your experiences relate to the job you’re applying to? Think creatively!
Behavioral Interview Questions Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks Give me an example of a time when you had to make a split second decision Give me an example of a time when something you tried to accomplish and failed Give me a specific example of a time when you had to conform to a policy with which you did not agree
After the Interview Send a personalized thank you card or email within 24 hours to every person who interviewed you Proofread! Capitalize, spell check, use proper grammar Use it as an opportunity to market yourself again. You can: Stress fit Damage control Mention interview afterthoughts
professionalism Center for Professional Excellence surveyed more than 500 human resources professionals and business leaders about recent college grads and their professionalism. Characteristics of Professionalism: Personal interaction skills, including courtesy and respect The ability to communicate, which includes listening skills A work ethic which includes being motivated and working on a task until it is complete Appearance
Professionalism Traits or behaviors employers value most, and that they believe are most deficient in the recent graduates they have hired, include: Accepts personal responsibility for decision and actions Is able to act independently Has a clear sense of direction and purpose.
Remember! The employer will assume that the way you handle the job search process is the way you will handle the job. Actions speak louder than words.